Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, is using targeted projects to attracting overseas expertise, both Chinese and foreigners, according to a top official of the city.
“We used to have a lot of talent recruitment programs overseas. But, the results were not so good. Now we have changed our strategy to use specific projects to lure talented people,” said Wan Yong, mayor of the city.
Wuhan, located in central China, is gearing up to build itself into a high-tech base. It launched a program called “Wuhan City Partner” in 2015. Its goal is to draw talent from home and abroad, mainly for three industries: information, bioscience and intelligent manufacturing.
The recruited city partners will be entitled to a “green card one-stop service” that helps them to get settled down in the city more easily – helping them find housing, schools for their children and medical services. Their pay will range from 500,000 yuan ($72,000) to 2 million yuan.
Yang Daichang, chairman of Wuhan Healthgen Biotechnology Corp, was among the first 60 Wuhan City Partners. He came back in 2005 after working six years in the United States. His company has developed genetic technology to draw, from rice, serum protein, a key substance for the treatment of burns and blood loss. The technology is now being reviewed for approval by relevant government departments.
In 2009, Wuhan introduced a “3551” program that aims to recruit leading international staff in five pillar industries (opto-electronics information, bioscience, environment, high-end equipment and high-tech services) in the city’s Optical Valley. As of May, 2015, the program had recruited 772 people, among whom more than 70 percent had worked or been educated overseas. More than a quarter were foreigners.
Marco Banfi, an Italian engineer and two other Italian engineers, came to work for Wuhan Hirun Engineering Equipment CoLtd, a manufacturer of bridge bearings and seismic isolation products three years ago.
Banfi, the technical director of Hirun, has decided to sign another three-year contract with the company, as he plans to get married and settle down in the city.
He has seen his team grow from a couple of staff members to more than 20 people in the past three years.
“The work was tough in the beginning as we tried to match our technology with the local situation. But, we have successfully built the seismic test machine from scratch,” said Banfi.